Mind from life

The sodium–potassium pump or Na+/K+ ATPase is a transmembrane protein whose enzymatic activity uses energy derived from the degradation of ATP to ADP and inorganic phosphate to transport potassium and sodium ions against their concentration gradient. It plays a role in maintaining the resting potential of nerve, muscle and cardiac cells. The pump is used to exchange sodium ions (Na+) from the intracellular medium with K+ potassium ions from the extracellular medium in a precise ratio (3 Na+/2 K+). This pump is responsible for restoring the initial balance after an action potential.

When a neuron is triggered, the active potential causes a rapid change in the concentration of sodium ions (Na+) in the cell and potassium ions (K+) outside the cell. In milliseconds, thousands of pumps in the thin lipid bilayer of the cell wall must move billions of these ions between the inside and the outside of the cell wall to prepare the neuron to fire again.

All individual ions, atoms and molecules in the cell move rapidly in random directions. When ions come near the opening of a pump, quantum collaborative forces can capture them in a lock-and-key structure. The idea that the basic physical/chemical level contains sufficient information in the movement of its atoms and molecules to cause and fully explain the processes of the higher levels of life and spirit is absurd.

The emergent biological machinery of a sodium-potassium pump exerts downward causation on the ions, powered by ATP energy carriers, feeding on negative entropy. With that in mind, the sodium-potassium pump in neurons resembles a Maxwell's Demon.

When many motor neurons fire, innervating excitatory post-synaptic potentials travel down through the thalamus and the spinal cord where they cause muscles to contract: A downward causation between the mind and the body. When the emergent mind decides to move the body, mental causation is realized as downward causation.